Illustration for article titled How to Identify and Manage a Fear of SuccessPhoto: Eunice De Guzman (Unsplash)

Fear of failure makes sense. We have all experienced failure at some point, found it wasn’t great, and are concerned that we will feel that way again. But our brains are hard to please. Because next to that Fear of failureMany people also fear success.

While it may sound ridiculous, being afraid of success is very real – although it’s not always obvious. In other words, you may be afraid of success and not even notice it (or group it with fear of failure). Ideally, we want to avoid this type of stress and anxiety. Here are some tips for identifying and treating fear of success.

What is fear of success?

First of all, it is important to remember that you are not afraid of success itself, but of the consequences of success. Kendra Cherry explains the concept in an article for Verywell Mind::

Fear of success includes fear of success, often to the point where people sabotage themselves … Since expectations of success are often based on the idea that achieving your goals will be sacrifices or losses, it is Perhaps unsurprisingly, people can be wary of what success could ultimately cost them.

How to recognize a fear of success

According to an article from 2018 Fear of success, published in the University Journal of Educational Research, can take the following forms:

  • Worry about whether your success could change your relationships with important people in your life
  • You are concerned about the new responsibilities that may come with your success
  • Afraid that your life will get more complicated and out of control
  • You are concerned about being in a position where you are more likely to receive negative comments and feedback – both in general and on a larger scale

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How to deal with your fear of success

Everyone will react to success – and their fear of it – in different ways. So it’s about figuring out what works best for you. If the common stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing, relaxation, journaling, etc. work for you, then definitely give them a try.

But for everyone else, these methods can be of greater use:

Refreshing negative beliefs

Instead of thinking about success as you are now (in a way that challenges you), rethink how you look at performance. Here’s Cherry again to explain:

Pay attention to some of the negative beliefs you may have about your performance.

Do you associate success with negative results? Worried about what other people might be thinking? Once you become more aware of these negative thought patterns, you can work on replacing them with more positive ones.

Get used to tolerating discomfort

Being able to tolerate discomfort is not only a skill in managing the fear of success, but a variety of other uncomfortable feelings and scenarios as well. Per cherry:

Since fear of achievement can lead to avoidance behaviors, one way to deal with it is to improve your exercise tolerance skills. If you experience uncomfortable or uncomfortable feelings, work on gradually learning to sit with those feelings instead of running away from them.

Like everything else, this mentality may take a bit of getting used to, but gradually you will get used to the discomfort and be able to get hold of it instead of being held back by the fear of experiencing it.